Public Exhibition

Primate Quest: Food, Brains and Evolution is a public interactive exhibit based on new research from NYU’s Primatology Lab. Visitors find out their primate identity by exploring how diet relates to brain size.

This project was created with my amazing group members Vidia Anindhita, Ella Chung, and Haiyi Huang for a class at ITP at NYU called Playful Communication of Serious Research. The goal of the class is for graduate students to create an exhibit about new NYU research.

Role: Co-creator, concept development, scripting, wireframing, UX/UI, original graphics and assets, coding, fabrication.

Tools: Unity, Kinect, AfterEffects, Premiere, p5.js Javascript libraries, serial communication, Illustrator, InDesign.

How It Works


Exhibition wall text introduces new research that primate brain size relates to diet but not sociality.

The Brain Interactive lets visitors guess which diets are related to smaller or larger brain sizes. Exhibition wall text introduces new research that primate brain size relates to diet but not sociality.

The Diet Interactive invites visitors to find out their primate identity based on how successfully they accomplish each diet.


Primate Pop Quiz reinforces the concepts learned in the exhibit.

Creative Process

Stage 1 – Conceptual Package

  • Our group proposed our Conceptual Package to the class (you can read it here). This included sketches, diagrams, and existing imagery to help convey the form and feeling of our ideas. It also described the message, audience and form factors of the project.

  • We selected our researcher, Alex DeCasien, a PhD student at NYU’s Primatology Lab. Her research linking primate brain size to diet sounded interesting! Primates, brains, and food … can’t go wrong!


Stage 2 – Schematic Package

We then delivered our Schematic Package (you can also read that here). We invested time in planning the different pieces of our exhibit. We focused on the interaction design, physical and digital interface design, schedules, and cost. We created user-flow diagrams, systems diagrams, and a schedule of work broken down for each team member.


Stage 3 - Production

Over 6 weeks we managed to produce everything we planned and more! We prioritized testing hardware and sensor options while building circuits, developing code, creating unique assets, fabricating enclosures, and writing exhibit text.


Stage 4 - Playtesting

We conducted two intensive playtests with complete set ups in a classroom. We documented with video and written notes. Each time we consolidated user feedback into lists that we could prioritize and make actionable.



This exhibit will be shown three times, as part of the ITP Spring Show, at the New York Hall of Science, and at Maker Faire.